Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Well, I am Roman's mother.

In the wake of the shootings on Friday in Connecticut, I have enjoyed the rising call for understanding and more treatment for mentally ill people.  There clearly was something "wrong" with the shooter. Autistic people do not plan mass killings just because they are autistic. In fact, I'm willing to bet what was diagnosed as Asperger's was probably something else - mood disorder, personality disturbance, whatever.

Anyway. What I've especially been interested in is a mom's post about having a young teen with the same issues. I've been sad about the backlash. Because what she describes as an undiagnosed rage issue is exactly what Roman experienced when younger. She describes having to hold her son so he wouldn't throw himself out of the car into traffic after declaring he wanted to kill himself, and then getting elbowed, kicked, punched, etc. THIS IS WHAT ROMAN DID.  This began as an argument over blue pants. YES.

I can't stand when people blame the parents - they're not parenting right, they're reading too much into the behavior. Or they blow it off as not as serious as it is described. Or they shame & ridicule the parents when the parents admit to real feelings - of wishing they didn't have that child, questioning whether to place them in an inpatient facility.  Why doesn't the public see these types of tragedies coming? Because they don't want to believe there is a problem with someone earlier on.

I don't like to revisit the dark days of Roman pre-medication and pre-therapy. I remember one particular afternoon when I stood in the hallway, grabbed the post, and tried to shake the darn house down with my own rage, rather than direct it at Roman. To raise an emotionally unstable child is simply draining... exhausting.... anger-inducing.... frustrating. I sought conversation with our pastor at one point because I found myself daydreaming about hitting Roman & that it could be a good thing - and that scared me. Oh yes, gentle readers.  Yes, he's the sweetest boy. Wonderful and thoughtful. But you've probably never seen him in a rage.  We often had to restrain him from hurting himself or us. Do you believe me when I say that he has bit me? Punched me? Kicked me in the stomach? Probably hard to imagine. He often can't believe his own behavior either, after the rage is over.

It took us medication & 2-1/2 years of weekly therapy to get to the point we're at now - which is generally good. I'd say he's 90% better than he used to be. He has the mood changes still, the occasional rages - but we see them coming now, & can prepare ourselves for it.  My validation quote is "I am the best mother for Roman."  And I believe that's true, because I don't think many people could or would handle a child with the difficulties he has/had.  And unless you've been in the situation... viewed it multiple times... or sat in a room with a therapist and psychologist and heard the words, "I actually was worried because of the sociopathic tendencies he was displaying" said about your son..... then you can't make any judgements at all about the person OR their parents.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Thank you for your honesty here. I can't quite imagine what it was like for you in those dark days. I imagine it was dark for him too, in different ways. So glad you are doing better. Thank God for your love and commitment for your children--may he continue to bless and multiply it.